Ocean Oasis’ Gaia system has been designed to make use of wave energy to desalinate water.
Plans to make use of marine vitality to desalinate water obtained an additional increase this week, after a Norwegian agency introduced a system that shall be put by way of its paces in waters off Gran Canaria.
In a press release Monday, Oslo-headquartered Ocean Oasis mentioned its wave-powered prototype gadget, which it described as being an “offshore floating desalination plant,” was referred to as Gaia.
The plant — which has a top of 10 meters, a diameter of seven meters and weighs roughly 100 tons — was put collectively in Las Palmas and can bear testing on the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands.
Ocean Oasis mentioned its expertise would allow “the manufacturing of contemporary water from ocean waters by harnessing the vitality of the waves to hold out a desalination course of and pump potable water to coastal customers.”
The corporate mentioned the event of its prototype had obtained monetary backing from a variety of organizations together with Innovation Norway and the Gran Canaria Financial Promotion Society.
The principle investor in Ocean Oasis is Grieg Maritime Group, which is headquartered in Bergen, Norway.
The Canary Islands are a Spanish archipelago within the Atlantic Ocean. In keeping with the Canary Islands Institute of Expertise, the islands have been “a pioneer within the manufacturing of desalinated water at inexpensive value.”
A presentation from the ITC highlights a number of the explanation why. Describing the Canary Islands’ “water singularities,” it refers to a “structural water deficit on account of low rainfall, excessive soil permeability and aquifer overexploitation.”
Whereas desalination — which multinational vitality agency Iberdrola describes as “the method by which the dissolved mineral salts in water are eliminated” — is seen as a useful gizmo relating to offering consuming water to international locations the place provide is a matter, the U.N. has famous there are vital environmental challenges linked to it.
It says that “the fossil fuels usually used within the energy-intensive desalination course of contribute to international warming, and the poisonous brine it produces pollutes coastal ecosystems.”
With the above in thoughts, initiatives seeking to desalinate water in a extra sustainable manner will grow to be more and more necessary within the years forward.
The concept of utilizing waves to energy desalination just isn’t distinctive to the venture being undertaken within the Canaries. In April, for instance, the U.S. Division of Vitality revealed the winners of the final stage of a contest targeted on wave-powered desalination.
Again on the Canary Islands, Ocean Oasis mentioned it might be seeking to assemble a second set up after testing on the PLOCAN facility had taken place. “On this part, the prototype shall be scaled with the capability to provide water for consumption,” the corporate mentioned.
Whereas there’s pleasure in regards to the potential of marine vitality, the footprint of wave and tidal stream initiatives stays very small in comparison with different renewables.
In information launched in March 2022, Ocean Vitality Europe mentioned 2.2 megawatts of tidal stream capability was put in in Europe final yr, in comparison with simply 260 kilowatts in 2020.
For wave vitality, 681 kW was put in, which OEE mentioned was a threefold enhance. Globally, 1.38 MW of wave vitality got here on-line in 2021, whereas 3.12 MW of tidal stream capability was put in.
By means of comparability, Europe put in 17.4 gigawatts of wind energy capability in 2021, in keeping with figures from trade physique WindEurope.